Tired of being confined to my house, I went off to explore the nearby mountain village of Wrightwood, located in the San Gabriel Mountains, the range that looms to the north of the Los Angeles basin.  I didn’t have any firm plan for a blog post; this outing was just an escape. Who knew about the Sheep Fire?

Fire just around the next curve

With my head filled with thoughts of quaint cabins and comfy cafes, I was startled to see the charred desert landscape that came up suddenly around the next curve. Fire had attacked the Joshua trees!

Joshua tree in an ashy setting!

As I drove along, the creek bed seemed filled with the ashy remains of what I later learned was the Sheep Fire.

The ashy landscape left by the fire

A little background

The cause of the fire is unknown, but it first was noticed on Saturday, June 11th, about a week before my visit to Wrightwood.  As with so many California fires, high winds exacerbated the situation.  Roads were closed, and people evacuated.  I sigh as I write this because I know this is just the beginning.  California is experiencing severe drought, and I expect the fire season will only worsen.

The contrasting landscape

While the fire scorched the land beside Highway 2, the distant foothills were green.

Burned trees fill the foreground, but there’s a promise of life in the distance.

The tragic scene caught my interest, and I forgot about mountain villages.  Instead, I experimented with this weird landscape.

A dead bush

Although everything is burned and ashy, I think this poor bush still displays some dynamism.  I was also fascinated by the ash covering the desert floor.

California’s summer

I suspect the Sheep Fire is just the beginning of a dangerous and costly fire season in my state.  While the singed landscape was compelling, I don’t want to see more like it.  However, if you wish to see more images from my adventure, please click here.

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